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Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids dedicates final push to the late Luyanda Ntshangase, Mlondi Dlamini and Mondli Cele

Posted: 11 May 2018 Time: 11:45

Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids had to fight back tears as he dedicated the club's last two games of the season to fallen trio Luyanda Ntshangase, Mlondi Dlamini and Mondli Cele.

Ntshangase, 21, was laid to rest on Thursday at Mountain Rise Cemetery in Pietermaritzburg, having died in hospital last week after being struck by lightning during a friendly game with SAB League side Arsenal in March.

Fellow Maritzburg players Dlamini, 20, and Cele, 27, passed away in car crashes in October 2017 and January 2016 respectively.

The Team of Choice will conlude their league campaign with a KwaZulu-Natal derby against Golden Arrows at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday looking to replace Kaizer Chiefs in third spot on the table, which earns entry to next season's CAF Confederation Cup.

United will then aim to win their first trophy when they contest the Nedbank Cup final with Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium on May 19. Winning the tournament also secures a ticket to the Confed Cup.

Davids was struggling to keep his emotions in check when asked about his side's mental state heading into the matches following the loss of Ntshangase.

"Ja," Davids said after a long pause.

"Of course it's a difficult time for us. I'm ... I'm ... the players ... Of course it's devastating to lose two of their brothers in one season.

"Not too long ago we lost Mondli Cele, so everybody deals with this in a different way, each individual. We just have to give the players the space to be able to grieve.

"We are doing it in their honour in the last two games to be able to know that they are with us in the last two games of the season."

Maritzburg will face a determined Arrows on the weekend, as Clinton Larsen's outfit are chasing a top-eight finish.

Davids confirmed he will rest some key players for the encounter.

"Derby is always a derby and nobody wants to lose," Davids added.

"We need supporters to give us a big push, but there will be some players rested. There will be some players not being risked with injuries but it'll be a competitive team."

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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